At the Ghost Bike Foundation we place roadside memorials dedicated to bicycle riders who have lost their lives while riding. The memorial consists of a white painted bike decorated with the name of rider, flowers, candles, and letters of loss. The bike is placed at or very near the site of the crash. These memorials serve as a space for the community to mourn the loss of a member and advocate infrastructure that would prevent future collisions.
I work with Ghost Bikes to use art as a tool to build stronger communities and create support groups for traumatized family and friends. Through expressive actions we can help everyone grieve their loss and make political statements as to the necessary development of bicycle infrastructure.
The Ghost Bike pictured above belongs to a member of the Highland Park community that lost their life to a drunk driver while crossing Figueroa Street in the designated crosswalk. On the evening of Friday, June 26, many community members showed their strength by joining the memorial, marching on the street, and offering eulogies. However, while deep trauma and sadness were present, an overwhelming positivity could be felt in the crowd as community members reached out to each other for support and friendship. It was clearly seen that in the times of most adversity, the greatest relationships are developed.
These relationships formed out of the tragedy will help our ultimate goal of creating safe streets for everyone to use. The loss of a bicycle rider's life is unacceptable and there are many preventative measures not taken in Los Angeles. I use these extremely sad situations to advocate the safer streets that will keep families intact and improve their personal and environmental health.